Monthly Board Report - February 2001
Submitted by: Alison MacPherson, Public Health Inspector
Personal service facilities appear to be on the rise in Canada. These facilities or establishments consist of beauty parlours, barber shops, tattoo and ear/body piercing studios, electrolysis and aesthetic clinics. Some other services such as spas, acupuncture, tanning and massage therapy may also fit into this group.
In January 1998, the Ministry of Health released the Personal Services Setting Protocol. This Protocol was developed to minimize the risk of contracting blood-borne diseases for both clients and personal service workers during the delivery of these services. The Protocol consists of general recommendations for the facility, its equipment and is specific for each area of practice. The Protocol applies to any facility or person offering services where there is a risk of exposure to blood or body fluids.
Personal Services are considered to be a public health concern due to the potential exposure of skin or mucus membranes to blood or body fluids. This exposure can lead to serious infections caused by blood-borne pathogens (disease causing microorganisms) including Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and other viruses. Infections can still occur even though blood or body fluids were not visually detected on the instrument or needle. Therefore, it is very important that infection control practices be taken in every personal service occupation where blood and body fluid contact is possible.
Staff of the Leeds Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit have distributed this new Protocol to all personal service establishments in the tri-county area. At least one site inspection is being conducted annually by public health inspectors to ensure these guidelines are in place, and that the recommendations are being followed or practiced.